Currently, I’m working in Belize, but in a handful of weeks, I am relaunching my Garden Apothecary product line. Everything we have now, will be retired – and in it’s place, a new collection is coming to highlight wellness from medicinal herbs for the skin, body & mind.

What will be different?

That’s soon to come…

For now, I’m excitedly back in Belize to learn more about medicinal plants – and for this trip, focusing on an old favorite; Theobroma cacao. There is so much that is simply magical about cacao, in my opinion. From how it looks (a large, colorful pod filled with white skin holding firm rows of beans) to how it smells and tastes. Cacao is provocative and alluring, while being surprisingly sustainable to grow. The fragrance and flavor palate brings emotion and remembrance to everyone, whether you like chocolate or not.

The growing and harvesting process is just as romantic, with a lot of hard work mixed in. The hands behind the cultivation of these plants, steeps through and permeates each pod. With culture held fast in tradition and respect for the land taught for generations, I cannot think of chocolate or cacao, without thinking of my Mayan friends who tend to them.

When you are at a farmers market and pick, say, a basket of strawberries, you generally don’t want someones fingers all over them, for fear of future bruising. Strawberries need little contact, too much means mold within a day, and a wasted $4. With fresh cacao pods, the subtle pigmentation, a result from numerous hands moving the crop from farm to hut to market, shows the just the right amount of… human-ness. Finger prints on colorful pods grown from my farmer friends, add a layer of appreciation and connection that I seek in my work.

In terms of how we are using cacao, Garden Apothecary is relying on the medicinal benefits, reminding folks that cacao is not just yummy to eat but it’s good for the body and mind. We are working hard to bring you a collection that is fresh and restorative – and true to the plants we love. Great skincare, it turns out, is just an awesome side effect.

More to come, as always.